US First Lady Michelle Obama arrived on Wednesday with her mother and daughters in Milan, Italy. The first lady kicked off the Italian leg of her trip to Europe, which began in London on Monday, with a cooking demonstration at the James Beard American Restaurant alongside a group of schoolchildren. Obama on Thursday visits Expo 2015.
Mrs. Obama is leading a presidential delegation to Expo, which includes the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, John R. Phillips, star chef Mario Batali, NBA all-star Alonzo Mourning and the co-founder of sweetgreen Nicolas Jammet.
Mrs. Obama together with Premier Matteo Renzi's wife, Agnese Landini visited the five-story Italian pavilion. The first ladies stopped to meet with 8-to-10-year-olds from a nearby international elementary school who showed their video projects featuring ideas for tackling the issue of how to feed 9 billion people by 2050.
Later, Mrs. Obama was greeted by a video image of her husband, President Barack Obama, as she entered the U.S. pavilion at the Expo. The Expo themes dovetail with the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative to fight childhood obesity through diet and exercise. She told the student delegates that collective efforts have resulted in a halt to the growth in childhood obesity among the smallest children.
Mrs. Obama told Italian newspaper La Stampa that while the US is still grappling with a serious obesity problem - one in three American children is overweight or obese - and while the global prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled since 1980, there is "a lot of reason for hope".
"Childhood obesity rates have finally stopped rising, and obesity rates are actually falling among our youngest children," she told La Stampa.
But while the progress we've made is impressive, it's also incredibly fragile, and we still have a long way to go before we finally solve this problem."
Typical meals in the Obama household, she revealed, include baked chicken with brown rice and broccoli, or grilled fish with couscous and a green salad.
Accompanied by her teenage daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson, Obama went to admire Milan's most famous mural - Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" - at the Maria delle Grazie church, where Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, his wife Agnese and their daughter Ester were waiting.
Source: AFP, ABC News